We often like to share the opinions of others when it comes to ERP system selection and implementation. And so, while no simple “checklist” will take the place of an intensive due diligence when selecting or upgrading a company’s ERP system, we thought the following offering from the folks at Rand Group (an ERP seller that serves the Southwest out of Texas) offered a sensible starting point.
First, take note of a sidebar they wrote, which really sums up the importance of making the distinction between “Must Haves” versus “Want to Haves” and “Wish List” items:
“Having any more than 3-7% of your requirements categorized as “must have” will eliminate all 500 commercially available business software solutions.”
That being said, Rand Group recommends you start internally:
“Define your organization’s corporate goals, objectives/ metrics, and strategic imperatives, followed by a review of business requirements and challenges that are preventing your organization from meeting its objectives.”
Then, work with your consultant or provider to create an appropriate, high-level ‘scope document’ that separates those “Must Haves” and that can provide the following information:
- A prioritized list of each department’s critical needs and requirements, including a wish-list.
- A description of how information flows and is shared between departments.
- Current manual and automated data collection systems.
- Organizational goals (e.g., improving customer service (with metrics), shipping all orders within 24 hours, etc.).
- Transaction volume data (e.g., number of customers, orders, invoices and vendors).
- Financial data and reports required by accounting, auditing and banking stakeholders.
- Reports and analysis required for management and day-to-day operations.
- Integration requirements with in-house systems and desktop applications.
Use the results, Rand Group recommends, to then analyze the offerings of interest to you, to determine comparative fit and capability, noting how well a chosen solution “addresses each of your prioritized business objectives and requirements.”
Their advice provides a great starting point for system selection.